- A watchful eye must be kept on ourselves lest, while we are building ideal monuments of renown and bliss here, we neglect to have our names enrolled in the Annals of Heaven. ~James Madison, Letter by Madison to William Bradford [urging him to make sure of his own salvation] November 9, 1772
- “The Law given from Sinai [The Ten Commandments] was a civil and municipal as well as a moral and religious code.” ~John Quincy Adams. Letters to his son. p. 61
- In matters of religion I have considered that its free excercise is placed by the Constitution independent of the powers of the general (Federal) Government. I have therefore undertaken, on no occasion, to prescribe the religious exercise suite to it; but have left them, as the Constitution found them, under the direction and discipline of State and church authorities by several religious societies” ~Thomas Jefferson
- God who gives us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are a gift from God” ~Thomas Jefferson
- Although guided by our excellent Constitution in the discharge of official duties, and actuated, through the whole course of my public life, solely by a wish to promote the best interests of our country; yet, without the beneficial interposition of the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, we could not have reached the distinguished situation which we have attained with such unprecedented rapidity. To Him, therefore, should we bow with gratitude and reverence, and endeavor to merit a continuance of His special favors” ~George Washington, 1797 letter to John Adams
- “Each day your members observe a 200-year-old tradition meant to signify America is one nation under God. I must ask: If you can begin your day with a member of the clergy standing right here leading you in prayer, then why can’t freedom to acknowledge God be enjoyed again by children in every school room across this land?” ~Ronald Reagan, State of the Union, January 25, 1984
A month later in a radio address, February 25, 1984, President Reagan stated:
- “The First Amendment of the Constitution was not written to protect the people from religion; that amendment was written to protect religion from government tyranny . . . But now we are told our children have no right to pray in school. Nonsense. The pendulum has swung too far toward intolerance against genuine religious freedom. It is time to redress the balance.
Former Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart noted
- “[I]f religious exercises are held to be impermissible activity in schools, religion is placed at an artificial and state-created disadvantage . . . Refusal to permit religious exercises is seen not as the realization of state neutrality, but rather as the establishment of a religion of secularism” ~Ronald Reagan, Febuary 25, 1984
- “O Most Glorious God, in Jesus Christ, my merciful and loving Father; I acknowledge and confess my guilt in the weak and imperfect performance of the duties of this day. I have called on Thee for pardon and forgiveness of my sins, but so coldly and carelessly that my prayers are become my sin, and they stand in need of pardon.
“I have sinned against heaven and before Thee in thought, word, and deed. I have contemned Thy majesty and holy laws. I have likewise sinned by omitting what I ought to have done and committing what I ought not. I have rebelled against the light, despising Thy mercies and judgment, and broken my vows and promise. I have neglected the better things. My iniquities are multiplied and my sins are very great. I confess them, O Lord, with shame and sorrow, detestation and loathing and desire to be vile in my own eyes as I have rendered myself vile in Thine. I humbly beseech Thee to be merciful to me in the free pardon of my sins for the sake of Thy dear Son and only Savior Jesus Christ who came to call not the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Thou gavest Thy Son to die for me.” ~George Washington; from a 24 page authentic handwritten manuscript book dated April 21-23, 1752
- Is it necessary that any one should [ask], “Did General Washington avow himself to be a believer in Christianity?” As well may we question his patriotism, his heroic devotion to his country. His mottos were, “Deeds, not Words”; and, “For God and my Country ~Nelly Custis-Lewis, Washington’s adopted daughter
- “If the public homage of a people can ever be worthy of the favorable regard of the Holy and Omniscient Being to whom it is addressed, it must be…guided only by their free choice . . . as proving that religion, that gift of Heaven for the good of man, is freed from all coercive edicts.” ~James Madison, July 23, 1813
- “Religion, or the Duty which we owe our Creator, and the Manner of discharging it, can be directed only by Reason and Convictions, not by Force or Violence; and therefore all Men are equally entitled to the free exercise of Religion, according to the Dictates of Conscience; and that it is the mutual Duty of all to practice Christian Forbearance, Love, and Charity towards each other” ~James Madison